Saga has already provided plenty of opportunities for parody, and the
bare-bones performance outfit, Ornamental Messiah from Newport, adds
another to the list with their 60-minute production of Third
an age when social media promotes the notion of conversation over
professionally prepared content, this type of show is definitely in
step with the times, but it fails to recognize that a strong guiding
hand and ready wit are needed to pull off this kind of daring
the opening moment of Grim
presented by Wonderheads, a two-person troupe from Portland, Ore.,
you know this is going to be something special. A lone figure slinks
on stage to the strains of Mozart’s Requiem,
carrying a black letter. His movements are precise, with the intense
comical elegance you get from the best of the old Warner Brothers
Performance Gallery is the only troupe to have presented a show at
every Cincinnati Fringe Festival since its inception. Many of those
previous productions have been intricate and brilliant, while a few
were brave experiments that didn’t quite take flight.
Rumple’s Random Reality
falls into the second category.
The art of the improbable premise is a standard at any Fringe Festival. What counts is not the unlikely starting point, but how one develops and delivers from the unreasonable setup. Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown (presented at the 1423 Vine venue), written and performed by Joe Hutcheson and directed by Cheryl King, shows that style, imagination, intelligence, heart, talent and daring are what make such productions worth the gamble.
The title of Jessica Ferris’ one woman show, Missing: The Fantastical and True Story of My Father’s Disappearance and What I Found When I Looked for Him (at Know Theatre), would pretty much seem to say it all. And yet, there would be so much, well — missing.
Matt Johnson’s solo improvisational piece, Tooth and ’Nuckle, at the very-out-of-the-way and very cool Hanke 2 space (1128 Main St.), might not be for the faint of heart, even by Fringe standards. The setup is pretty straightforward. A bare stage sports a phalanx of masks and puppets fashioned out of grocery bags, and audience members are invited make a selection for Johnson to use as starting points for off-the-cuff scenes and soliloquies.
Ideas and ambitions come in all shapes and sizes, and the three modern-dance works that comprise the triptych of S/M/L, presented by MamLuft& Co. Dance, are each in their own way small, medium and large. The first piece, Small: Restless Hands Under a Trembling Table, opens arrestingly enough with a pair of dancers dressed in white, and wrapped in a long red fabric stretching from the opposite side of the stage.
There is no question that Serenity Fisher has a staggering amount of talent: She plays magnificently, sings well, writes smoothly in rhyme and coins clever inversions of phrases. But this is a poorly formed and indulgent exercise that, like a Stradivarius with only one string, plays the same light note throughout.
Based on a series of improvised rehearsals, the folks at Fake Bacon Productions have patched together a show that might be a little too loose to be taken seriously, while being too funny at times to dismiss entirely. It's a bit like every '70s disaster flick ('Earthquake,' 'Poseidon Adventure,' 'Towering Inferno') meets 'The Naked Gun.'